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Ebook Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion read! Book Title: Slouching Towards Bethlehem
The author of the book: Joan Didion
Language: English
ISBN: 0374521727
ISBN 13: 9780374521721
Format files: PDF, Epub, DOCx, TXT
The size of the: 415 KB
Edition: Farrar Straus Giroux
Date of issue: October 1st 1990
Reader ratings: 8.4
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My mother was a freshman in college when I was a freshman in high school. Married at seventeen, her 1960s and 70s were spent as a young wife and mother of four. It wasn't until she divorced at thirty-six, the same year Ronald Reagan ushered in the folly of trickle-down economics and the prison-industrial complex, that she discovered "the sixties". She majored in English and one day brought home, as a reading assignment, a copy of Slouching Towards Bethlehem. I recall the cover: gun-metal gray with white lettering. I recall her clutching the book as though it were a lifeline, a rope to a past she never had. I felt the book must be some passageway to adulthood, some essentialness of feminism that both intrigued and bored me. I recall loving the title--the evocation of the Bible that seemed almost sacrilegious to me, a child of a conservative Christian family. Slouching . . . Bethlehem . . . nothing but trouble can come from such a book.

I wonder what my mother must have thought of this collection of essays about people, places, lifestyles so radically different than anything in her experience, yet which were happening simultaneous to her sheltered life. While her days were filled with Sesame Street, Tang, laundry, cutting crusts from bread for fussy her elementary school-kids' lunches, Joan Didion was writing of the counterculture of Haight-Ashbury, where runaways were drugged and traded as sex toys, used up and strung out by nineteen; of Howard Hughes buying up blocks of Las Vegas like she bought boxes of Cheerios; of Joan Baez, wispy, earnest, and reclusive in the Monterey County Courthouse, trying to save her Institute for the Study of Non-Violence from the squares who worried that the hippies would drive down their property values.

Did my mother dream California dreams? Did she wish for a New York interlude, to be young and in love, with a view of the Brooklyn Bridge, such as Joan Didion had in 1960s? Did she yearn for the warm waves of the Pacific curling on the sands of Hawaii? Such freedom young Didion had, such time to feel angst, to observe others, to write, clear-eyed and fiercely about her time and place in a world where people filled their voids with drug, sex, and rock-n-roll.

I imagine my mother reading about a gathering of earnest young activists and intellectuals "reluctant about gathering up their books and magazines and records, about finding their car keys and ending the day, and by the time they are ready to leave Joan Baez is eating potato salad with her fingers from a bowl in the refrigerator, and everyone stays to share it, just a little while longer where it is warm" and wishing she were in their midst, instead of pushing a shopping cart down the aisles of Pak-n-Save, filling it with boxes of Kraft Mac-n-Cheese and Hamburger Helper.

This collection of twenty essays, originally published in a variety of magazines, chronicles Didion's internal and external worlds at a singular time in modern American history. Her cool, unsentimental observations have come to exemplify California during the mid 60s and 70s, her unwavering voice carrying the mantle of feminism—here is a writer, a woman, unafraid to admit how very angry and afraid she really is. Or unafraid to admit a lifelong crush on the manufactured, wooden John Wayne, a caricature of the American man.

Perhaps it is this voice my mother held onto so tightly, searching in Didion's words for the key to self-expression, independence, and experimentation—all the things my mother missed as she moved straight from childhood to motherhood. Perhaps she longed to belong to Didion's California where
". . . time past is not believed to have any bearing on time present or future, out in the golden land where every day the world is born anew."
Oh, don't we all?

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Ebook Slouching Towards Bethlehem read Online! Joan Didion was born in California and lives in New York City. She's best known for her novels and her literary journalism.

Her novels and essays explore the disintegration of American morals and cultural chaos, where the overriding theme is individual and social fragmentation. A sense of anxiety or dread permeates much of her work.


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